Hi everyone! Hope you are having fun on this Memorial Day weekend. We are going to hit the boardwalk for a 5-mile walk if it isn’t raining. And I’m very excited to have joined the Austin Food Blogger Alliance and look forward to meeting lots of new foodies in Austin.
So I thought I would give a quick rundown of what this blog is about. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010 and casein-free (except for the occasional Parmesan cheese) last year. Casein is a protein in dairy, processed meats and some wine. I really miss cheese and so I’m always on the look out for vegan cheese that doesn’t contain casein as an ingredient. I don’t know why some Parmesan cheese doesn’t bother me but I’ll take it.
When my husband and I got married a few years ago, we ate a lot of comfort food and take out and gained a lot of weight really fast. I was 40 years old, 5’1″ and over 200 lbs. Part of it was because my digestion wasn’t working, part of it was because I had a really bad sprained ankle (so I stopped exercising regularly) and then just bad food choices.
When I finally realized that gluten was making me sick, I had to start cooking more and eating out less. I’m super sensitive to gluten cross-contamination (and it took a while to find hidden sources of gluten) so it didn’t seem like I would ever get better. But I did. And we started exercising again and we’ve lost a bunch of the weight. It’s getting easier and I’m getting stronger.We’ve come so far and that is such a great feeling!
When I started reading labels for hidden sources of gluten – it really opened my eyes. We try to eat very clean, healthy, real foods now with some indulgences, too. For the most part, we shop the perimeter of the store. We avoid BPA, refined sugar (except a little brown sugar because the molasses has some nutritional value), dyes, preservatives, additives, chemicals, processed foods, etc. We eat fresh veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, gluten-free grains and flavor everything with wine, vinegar and spices (and sometimes BBQ sauce). Basically, the rule is – does it have some nutritional value? But we are foodies who love food so we want it to be good, too.
What makes my life so much easier is planning a weekly menu and shopping list. The menu planning saves us money and time and we produce so much less food waste. Because I try to use the proteins and veggies in several different meals during the week – it used to take me several hours to search recipes, convert them to gluten-free, plan the weekly menu week and shopping list. And since I’m just cooking for two people, I had to cut most of the recipes down so that we wouldn’t have a ton of leftovers.
Now with this blog and eCookbooks, I have a bunch of safe recipes that are tasty and easy to make and none of it goes to waste. And if this makes someone else’s life easier, then it’s worth the time and work of sharing it online. I’m always looking for new recipes, too – especially for Meatless Monday and tacos! We love tacos!
So here is the casein free, gluten free weekly menu for May 25:
Meatless Monday – Veggie Paella with Arborio Rice
Taco Tuesday – BBQ Chicken Tacos & Cabbage Slaw
Wednesday – Chicken Tortilla Soup (in The Weekly Menu I & Cookbook but will post the recipe on the blog this week)
Thursday – Grass-fed Steak Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette
Have a wonderfully happy & healthy week!